Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson was heartened by his struggling side’s showing in a top-versus-bottom loss last night (August 1).
The city side suffered a sixth consecutive SGB Premiership defeat when falling 50-40 to pacesetters Poole at Wimborne Road.
There was no repeat of Panthers’ success in their previous visit to Dorset back in May although they did perform creditably largely thanks to the efforts of two riders.
Scott Nicholls racked up a terrific 13+1 while guest reserve Ryan Douglas, who was borrowed for the night from Wolverhampton, added paid 10.
But newly-crowned British champion Charles Wright, new number one Rohan Tungate, and captain Hans Andersen (on his return from a month out) were among those to struggle for points.
“It was a good effort on the whole that probably deserved something from the meeting,” said Johnson. “But unfortunately we got nothing.
“Scott was absolutely superb and Ryan rode really well considering it was his first time at Poole.
“Even though we ended up losing, I’m pretty pleased with how we performed. Everyone scored points although it wasn’t enough from some riders.
“We could have done with a few more heat winners, but we didn’t run as many last places as we have done lately.”
Nicholls triumphed as Panthers claimed a 4-2 in the opener but a 5-1 from the hosts in heat three gave them the edge.
Poole captain Josh Grajczonek, who only managed one point when guesting for Panthers in their defeat at King’s Lynn a week earlier, doubled that tally in one race when zooming past both Wright and Ty Proctor for second spot behind team-mate and top-scorer Nicolai Klindt.
The next four races all produced 4-2 outcomes with three of them belonging to Poole as they opened up a six-point advantage. Their flow was only briefly interrupted by another fine Nicholls effort in the fifth contest.
And the hosts upped the ante further when Klindt and Grajczonek bagged a 5-1 over Andersen in heat nine before that was backed up by another 4-2, inspired by former Panthers man Jack Holder, in the 10th instalment.
The city men suddenly found themselves 12 points adrift but ate into their arrears as Tungate and Nicholls combined for a 5-1 in heat 11 before Wright reduced the damage to a 4-2 with a late surge into second place in the next outing.
Panthers’ fate was sealed when Andersen was powerless to prevent a 5-1 from Aussie duo Holder and Kurtz in heat 13, but they signed off well with back-to-back 4-2 advantages.
Impressive guest Douglas took the flag in the penultimate race before bagging third place in the finale when Nicholls completed his prolific evening.
But it wasn’t enough to arrest Panthers’ losing slump as they remain rooted to the foot of the standings ahead of a trip to Wolverhampton on August 12.
POOLE: Nicolai Klindt 13, Jack Holder 10+1, Brady Kurtz 10, Josh Grajczonek 7+2, Ricky Wells 6, Nico Covatti 4, Rider replacement for Richie Worrall.
PANTHERS: Scott Nicholls 13+1, Ryan Douglas (guest) 8+2, Charles Wright 6, Rohan Tungate 5, Hans Andersen 4, Aaron Summers 2, Ty Proctor 2.